“I Simply Remember My Favorite Things….”

| December 24, 2017 | Reply

Earlier this month, Nia sung in a Christmas program at Lakeview Centennial High School with her middle school choir, contributing to a blissful hour filled of traditional hymns, holiday poems and one of the all-time classics, “My Favorite Things.”

When Nia first brought the lyrics home to practice, I couldn’t resist sharing the rendition that I grew up with, sung by Diana Ross & The Supremes and heard every year as part of the album A Motown Christmas. By the time I was born, however, Ross was on the verge of launching a solo career and I never saw the performance………until the invention of YouTube. And that’s what I used to show Nia the now-classic Ed Sullivan Show clip, featuring the glamorous twenty-somethings Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross swaying at center stage in full, flowy gowns of pink. Our daughter’s class did the song proud, and every time I hear that first verse, “Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens/bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…..” I recall the holiday moments I experienced as a child and all the magic therein.

Now that I’m grown, life makes it a little more difficult to hold onto some of the wonder and mystery that the holidays still hold for the young. Luckily, however, that doesn’t keep me from finding creating new traditions for my own family and finding joy where possible in these turbulent times. So, in the tradition of the season, I decided to list a few of the pleasures that I consider ‘my favorite things’:

  • Christmas classics with a twist of the crazy and contemporary: A Motown Christmas still gets heavy rotation, but the voices of Anthony Hamilton, Mint Condition, Mary J. Blige and the This Christmas movie soundtrack is right there in the mix. It’s also fun to hear the kids chiming in with the parody renditions of Bob Rivers (“The Most Fattening Time of the Year” especially).
    1. Christmas flicks, modern and classic: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon and live-action versions), A Christmas Story, The Preacher’s Wife, Black Nativity, Almost Christmas, Best Man Holiday, This Christmas, The Perfect Holiday. And when the kids aren’t around, we love to watch Ice Cube’s Friday After Next & Denis Leary’s 1994 classic, The Ref. Christmas with the Kranks & Will Ferrell’s Elf are also great films, with just the right mix of sweetness and snark.
    1. Green bean casserole and old-school baked mac-n-cheese, two of the dishes I allow myself to indulge in only around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I intended to take both dishes to my mother’s for Turkey Day, but the family ended up eating one of them and, well…….I just have to do better for Christmas next week. Sorry Mama!
    1. Getting the Christmas lists from the kiddies—-Nia and Layla edited theirs multiple times this year (CJ found the ‘NO DOLLS!’ proclamation particularly distressing), and Darius’ was refreshingly simple. But since there’s been a new addition to the family, giving them a newborn second cousin and granting me the title of ‘Great-Auntie LoLo,’ everyone’s goodie count will be slightly reduced.
    1. Getting a full-time job just in time to attend the company’s Christmas party at ‘Dallas Cowboys Headquarters’ in Frisco—we didn’t have winning raffle tickets, but the food and camaraderie with my new co-workers was fun. It was also fabulous to see my husband and favorite Dallas Cowboys fan wander the hallways in awe and take dozens of photos with Super Bowl rings, players’ jerseys, and winning trophies of glory days past.
    1. Writing Christmas cards—-it keeps us in touch across the country and gives me much-needed penmanship practice since we text/type so much.
    2. Last, but not least, I relish my role as a journalist and Briefing columnist: educating, informing and entertaining readers is a humbling opportunity never taken for granted.

    May your Christmases, Hanukkahs and Kwanzaa be the best ones yet. Happy Holidays to all!

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    Category: DMN Briefing Columns, Love & Living

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